Audacious scams (part 4); could this ever happen to you?
In the last of our features on the “Top 14 Financial Frauds of All Time” we turn our attention to “The ZZZZ Best Cleaners” (1986)
Barry Minkow became the new darling of Wall Street when he floated his cleaning company on the US stock market. Shares in ZZZZ Best experienced a meteoric rise creating a company with a market capitalisation of $200 million. Unfortunately, ZZZZ Best, originally funded through a series of credit-card thefts didn’t have any contracts and very few assets. It was in short an elaborate hoax. Once discovered the stock dropped to zero, investors lost their money and Minkow lost his liberty. Lest you mock; Minkow’s time at the top earned him a guest spot on the Oprah Whinfrey show, the ultimate in American endorsements.
How many times have you let your credit / debit cards out of your sight in a restaurant or shop? What do you do with the paper receipts, carbons and credit card statements?